Optimum Relative Humidity: 95-100%
Benefits of CA: Low О2delays senescence and reduces respiration and physiological disorders such as pink rib. Elevated СО2(greater than 2%) can induce brown stain on the midribs of head lettuce leaves.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Crisphead lettuce produces very little ethylene but is sensitive to the effects of ambient ethylene. Ethylene will cause development of russet spotting (small brown spots concentrated along the midrib). Ethylene should be excluded from lettuce during transport and storage.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: Lettuce should be rapidly cooled and kept cold throughout transportation and marketing.
Varietal Differences: Sensitivity of head lettuce to ethylene injury is highly cultivar dependent. Differences in tolerance to elevated СО2are also cultivar dependent. Some leaf lettuces tolerate up to 12% СО2. Shredded lettuce (minimally processed) also appears to be more tolerant to СО2than head lettuce.
Mixed Loads: Lettuce is sensitive to ethylene and so should not be shipped with commodities that produce ethylene.
Cautions: O2less than 1% can cause tissue breakdown inside the head CO2greater than 2% may cause brown stain. Brown stain injury is greater at low temperatures than at higher temperatures. However, the postharvest life of head lettuce is greatly shortened at temperatures greater than 2°C. The CA recommendations above do not apply to packaged, shredded lettuce or to lettuce in salad mixes. Fresh-cut (minimally processed) lettuce is more tolerant of elevated CO2than is intact head lettuce
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